선생님 [seonsaengnim] (sino-korean)
先 (선) – first, foremost
生 (생) – life
Teachers and professors have a great deal of influence on young people. That’s why teachers should set a good example of integrity in their own teachings and impart moral teachings in accord with their own high standard of conduct. They should have mature faith, rich experience, and discernment to treat each student in the way that best suits the student’s individual temperament and interests. They should regard their task as not merely to impart knowledge, but also to motivate and inspire their students with a vision for their lives. Most of all, the best teachers have the heart of a parent, training their students as they would their own children.
Professors should inculcate in their students strong determination and clear values for meeting the challenges of the times. In this sense, professors and spiritual leaders share a common task. More than merely transmitting knowledge and publishing the results of their research, they should inspire their students to live a life of responsibility.
Teachers should educate their students with love, standing in the place of parents. They should teach with love that is eternal, building ties with their students that last beyond their school days. They should make such efforts to form such deep, loving relationships with their students that they never forget them for the rest of their lives.
True teachers imbue their teaching with love. They do not teach just to earn a living; they teach out of an irrepressible love and desire to teach, even at great personal cost. Teachers and students should have such a relationship that, night or day, the teachers long to meet them and convey their knowledge-always with love, and the students are eager to receive it.